Andreas Renschler, who had been tipped as a future Daimler CEO,
resigned unexpectedly on Tuesday as head of manufacturing at the
company's Mercedes-Benz Cars business.
Volkswagen (VW) has offered an attractive package to Renschler to
head up its trucks operations, a VW source familiar with the matter
told Reuters on Friday, confirming newspaper reports, but without
Europe's biggest carmaker has been struggling for years to forge an
alliance of its heavy-trucks brands MAN SE and Scania and wants
Renschler, who ran Daimler Trucks for almost a decade, to join as
soon as possible, the source added.
However, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche said late on Thursday that
Renschler would not be able to join a rival soon because of a
non-compete clause in his contract.
Such clauses usually prevent executives from switching to a rival
for about one year, the VW source said.
The stakes are high. Having spent billions of euros in its holdings
in MAN and Scania, VW is growing frustrated with a lack of progress
under 68-year-old trucks chief Leif Oestling, whose contract at VW
expires in 2015.
VW's lawyers are thus likely to be poring over Renschler's
Germany's Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper reported on Thursday that VW
Chairman Ferdinand Piech had indicated an offer was made to
Renschler that may soon be approved by VW's supervisory board, due
to meet next on February 21.
[to top of second column]
The tussle is not the first time that executive moves between
domestic carmaking rivals have proved sensitive.
The appointment of Carlos Tavares as PSA Peugeot Citroen's <PEUP.PA>
CEO-in-waiting raised French eyebrows even after three months had
elapsed since his resignation as Carlos Ghosn's second-in-command at
Wolfgang Bernhard, formerly Mercedes-Benz production chief who
switched jobs with Renschler last April, has also moved between
Daimler and VW. He rejoined Daimler in 2009 after being ousted at VW
two years earlier.
(Additional reporting by Jan Schwartz
and Edward Taylor; editing by Mark Potter)
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